Understanding your hormones after childbirth will enhance your postpartum mental health state. There is no doubt that hormones play a major role in how pregnancy and childbirth transform a woman’s body. Your body undergoes a major transformation during pregnancy—and an equally major one after labour and delivery. And while there’s plenty of week-by-week information about your growing belly, your health and body after childbirth often get overlooked.
While you are pregnant, you may only care to read about pregnancy and different delivery options, however, knowing what happens afterwards is also important which included lots of vaginal bruising from a long rough labour and delivery, episiotomy stitches and brief Hulk-like swelling in your legs and feet, pains due to delivery through C-section.
Giving birth is deeply awesome, but giving yourself the tools and time to restore your nutrient levels, hormones, muscles, strength and everything else is going to affect how you experience the early days of motherhood.
Understanding your hormones after childbirth
Right after giving birth, your estrogen and progesterone levels drop dramatically, which can contribute to the “baby blues” (mood swings, anxiety, sadness or irritability, which resolve within a week or so of birth) or postpartum depression (similar symptoms that are more intense, last longer and interfere with your daily life).
Meanwhile, oxytocin, which is called the “bonding hormone,” floods your system right after delivery. “It turns on mothering behaviour, and one aspect of that behaviour is being able to see the danger in your child’s world
Thyroid hormones, which help regulate body temperature, metabolism and organ function, can be affected by giving birth, too. According to the American Thyroid Association, five to 10 per cent of women have postpartum thyroiditis, an inflammation of the thyroid gland, and the exact cause isn’t known. Symptoms can include insomnia, anxiety, rapid heart rate, fatigue, weight loss and irritability (one to four months after birth) or fatigue, weight gain, constipation, dry skin and depression (four to eight months after birth). Your doctor can monitor your thyroid levels with blood tests and prescribe medication if necessary.
The following ways will help you to restore your hormones after childbirth:
1. Embrace physical exercise:
This will not only help you maintain healthy hormones after childbirth but will keep you fit. Walking and some light exercises are very helpful, but you should never try heavy cardiac exercises. Some of the other exercises that you can practice post-delivery are kettlebells, squats, light-weight lifting, and resistance exercises. Please consult your doctor before you engage in any physical exercise.
2. Eliminate White Food:
Gynaecologists had suggested that avoiding white foods such as bread, pasta, milk, rice, as far as possible will help have your hormones after childbirth to be balanced.
3. Control of Caffeine Intake:
You should control your urge to intake caffeine as it promotes cortisol levels, and also hampers the activities of the thyroid glands which may influence your hormones after childbirth.
4. Take Necessary Supplements:
Supplements such as evening primrose oil, Omega-3s, MACA, chaste berry have an excellent effect on your hormone regulation. But before you decide to take these, please do remember that supplements should not be taken without a doctor’s advice.
Swap to Coconut Oil:
Unsaturated fats and quality cholesterol such as coconut oil and avocados help you regain hormonal balance.
Take more of Vitamin D:
The presence of vitamin D has a significant effect on hormonal stability as it acts as a hormone. Besides enjoying your time in the morning sun (sun rays are prime sources of vitamin D), you can also take supplements prescribed by your doctor.
Reduce Stress and overwhelming:
Get proper sleep and rest and keep away stress as much as possible and this can keep the cortisol levels in your body under control.
Avoid Additional Pills:
Taking additional pills is a huge mistake. You should never take any medicine or change your medication during and post pregnancy unless your doctor advises you to do so. Consulting your doctor before taking or changing pills is the most sensible thing to do to save your life.
Don’t take Polyunsaturated Fats:
After pregnancy, you need to avoid these fats, as they contain a high percentage of Omega-6s, and they can interfere with the functioning of your endocrine system. Some of the foods that contain polyunsaturated fats are margarine, vegetable oil and peanut oil.
Eat more of Fiber-Rich Foods:
Fiber helps in binding your old estrogen so that your body has ample space to hold the other hormones in your bloodstream. Fibrous foods also eliminate the unwanted toxins from your body, and you can remain healthy and energized.
Did you experience any effects of hormonal changes after childbirth? Please, the measures you adopted in the comment section?